Monday, November 30, 2009

Avira AntiVir

According to the latest comparison from Anti-Virus Comparative test in November 2009, Avira AntiVir scored an awesome 74%. That is much higher than the likes of Nod32 and Kaspersky, not to mention McAfee, Sophos, Norton, and the rest. The ranking is impressive so I decided to give AntiVir a go.
Should I say that there is a free version of AntiVir? Congratulations, Avira!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Project Planning Software

Twiddlebit has a nice piece of software – Plan for Windows and PocketPC. Both applications have identical features with the only difference that one runs on desktop and the other one on a mobile device. The software is compatible with MS Project (.MPX) files, which is great for data exchange. It can also export the task list to (Pocket) Outlook tasks under the project-name category, which is a great feature since you can use your standard task list to follow through the project tasks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

ToDoList Mobile

I'll try to summarize mobile versions of ToDo List here. These are the programs that can work with .tdl files on a Windows Mobile PocketPC.

  1. is the base for
  2. this project.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Here is a PocketPC version of excellent AbstractSpoon’s ToDoList – project page on Google Code. Hopefully it is better than the one I had before.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Organizer for Symbian

Epocware has some great software for Nokia 5800 and Symbian OS. Organizer that is similar to SPB software on Pocket PC – Handy Calendar and Handy Shell are looking very good in terms of functionality.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic - Tutorials, Tips & Hints at AllAboutSymbian

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic - Tutorials, Tips & Hints page contains a few useful and illustrated tutorials about the phone and its operating system (SymbianOS). Some useful features are there, like backup and space consolidation on internal memory but also lots of other things you can do with this phone as well as reviews. This web site also contains news and links to the ROM firmware updates.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Google Chrome Wood Theme

I finally found the wooden theme for Google Chrome. Well, the reason I did not have it before was not so much that it wasn’t there (among the themes) but because I had not seen it earlier. Here is what it looks like. Now I pretty much have the functionality I got used to in Firefox over the years. The theme is available here.

Update 2012-04-15: The theme is called Desktop and here is the direct link to the store.

Update 2014-11-12: The theme can not be found in the store anymore. However, it is still available for download through this direct link to file.

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“NoSQL” is the new term that represents the idea, a movement, or a line of thinking that is more adapted to the needs of the current needs of web applications. High scalability (the ability to scale out, mostly) is the top priority here.

The products that are used as data storage for these solutions (think Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) are distributed memory storage solutions with low latency (data access time) for both reading and writing.

Here are some interesting projects in that regard. Open Source first…

… and some commercial solutions…

  • Microsoft Velocity

This list is to grow as I find some interesting solutions. In the meantime, have a look at the following texts: The Future of Relational Databases and NoSQL Ecosystem.

Credit Cards in Australia

Credit cards, like any other product, have their product lifetime. I currently use Wizard Clear Advantage MasterCard as it still has the most benefits I expect from a card. Like, 55 interest free days on purchases, no provisions and charges on ATM cash withdrawals overseas, no subscription or issuance fee, etc.

However, as Wizard (Home Loans) brand was sold to Aussie (Home Loans), this left Wizard credit cards out in the open. The service is still run by GE Money and, in practise, everything is as it used to be. But, as there is no Wizard credit cards brand available any more, I doubt it is possible to apply for this card any more. And I also wonder what is going to happen once the card expires. Whether it will be possible to renew it or would I have to pick another product?

Whichever happens, there are some useful sites around to compare credit cards. One of the new useful web sites is credit card. It contains a list of credit cards for easy comparison of features and advice on getting a credit card. 

The good news for me is that the next card, similar in features to Wizard Clear Advantage, is HSBC and I already have it as it was offered by the bank. No fees make it a likely candidate as a reserve credit card.

Check my Australian Credit Cards page to find out more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Code Coverage in .Net

As Professional version of Visual Studio 2008 does not contain code coverage tools, I’m now having to look for a functionality elsewhere.

Open Source version of NCover is available here. Description page is  here. However, it seems this version has not been updated for a while (since 2004).

Fortunately, there is PartCover project.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Refactoring in VB.Net

Unit testing and refactoring is becoming a real pain in VB.Net. First, Moq can not be utilized properly in VB.Net v9 because the language does not support all the Lambda syntax features and it is not possible to have a function (Sub) that does not return a value. Hence, it is impossible to unit-test method calls that do not return a value or, in VB.Net slang, Subs are not unit-testable while Functions are.

Another painful thing is that Refactor features, available with C# in Visual Studio, are not available for VB.  The good thing is that there is a plugin by Developer Express Inc. available for free from MSDN.

Refactor! for Visual Basic 2008

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Getting Started with Google Chrome Extensions

Google Chrome (in the Dev channel) supports extensions. This probably was the single most sought-after feature that it was missing in comparison to Firefox. Well, now it’s there and the extension development is quite simple. As Chrome already executes JavaScript very, very fast, it makes sense to have extensions written in JavaScript.

Below is the basic tutorial on how to create a simple extension. As you will see, it is fairly simple. No additional knowledge, apart from the industry standards (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) is required. I like the approach.

Tutorial: Getting Started (Hello, World!)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Set up start page in Google Chrome

If you have a specific homepage setup, like I’m used to with Firefox, then you might have a Homepage set to one but your start page set to another location. This way I have one page displayed when the browser starts but my web homepage is available when I press Alt+D key combination. I find it practical.

To do this in Google Chrome do the following. In options, set the Home page to the location you wish to access by clicking the Home button in the toolbar or using an Alt+D combination.
Set the “On startup” to ‘open the following pages’ and add “chrome://newtab/” as the location.

This way, when Chrome starts, it will display the New Tab page, with all the goodies like most visited pages, search engines, and what not. But, your original home page will still be available on Alt+D.


Monday, November 02, 2009


HTMLayout is embeddable HTML/CSS renderer

HTMLayout: fast, lightweight and embeddable HTML/CSS renderer and layout manager component

Nabu Library uses HTMLayout. It is a C# library wrapper for HTML rendering.

nabu-library - Project Hosting on Google Code

CutyCapt & IECapt - HTML2Image

CutyCapt & IECapt are two command-line programs that capture HTML page and render the output as an image. CutyCapt is based on WebKit and IECapt on Internet Explorer rendering engines.

CutyCapt - A Qt WebKit Web Page Rendering Capture Utility